• Henrik Haupt

Chocolate factory: Abandoned in Germany

Updated: May 23

Historic picture of the chocolate factory

It was the first trip of the year, and I was off in pleasant spring weather with double-digit temperatures. But it turned around pretty quickly. So instead of lovely sunshine, it turned into a walk through a forest in rain and sleet.

So it was not exactly the weather I was looking forward to going out in. But even though I had a long walk in the wet weather, I knew that there was a historic gem hidden nearby that I hoped would be possible to visit.

Production hall at old chocolate factory

The history of the chocolate factory

The place I was going to visit was an abandoned chocolate factory that had been abandoned since the 1990s.

For some years after closing, the place was inhabited by one of the relatives of the founder of the company.

She lived in a house right up by the factory and could make sure it did not fall into disrepair completely.

A few years before my visit, she had moved into a nursing home. But even though her home had not been abandoned for very long, the house, which was to be several storeys, had completely collapsed inside. Her belongings were now at basement level, and nothing stood to save. In this part, I did not spend more time photographing.

The factory, on the other hand, was somewhat more interesting to look at.

The old machines stood in a row in the factory hall, ready to resume production at any moment.

However, due to the very humid climate, they were all so rusty that they would not be restored.

Production machines at an abandoned chocolate factory
Office at chocolate factory

The factory was founded in the early 1920s after the founder had previously run a couple of health food stores, reportedly good and lucrative businesses.

Historical picture of the founder of the factory

So in addition to chocolate production at the factory, health food products were also produced.

The company was mainly known for a unique sweet nougat cream sold in a lovely pink metal can.

In the early 1930s, the founder's son took over the running of the business, and he focused primarily on the health food stores, and to a lesser extent, the chocolate factory.

Production was increased, and many different products were made, which were sold throughout Germany.

In the 1940s, the factory got its own hydroelectric power plant in the basement in order to save costs and keep production up during the war.

Local farmers from the surrounding farms sold their sugar beets to the factory, and the production of the various products was badly needed in the years after the war.

At the peak, up to 90 people were employed, so it was a big loss for the local community when the factory had to turn the key in 1992.

Historical picture of the production at the chocolate factory
Employees at the today abandoned chocolate factory

The factory was, as I said, very much included, after the many years of stagnation. It was a rather complicated task to photograph in there because the shutters were closed to almost all the windows, so the only light I had to deal with was from my flashlight.

It was with a little goodwill possible to follow the process in the manufacture of the various products.

On the ground floor, I found most machines for making the contents, and on the floor above were machines for wrapping and labelling.

Since everything was very much included by the many years of stagnation, it was difficult to figure out exactly what the different things were used for.

Machines for mounting labels on chocolate cans
Production machines at chocolate factory
Production machines at abandoned chocolate factory in Germany

There were a couple of cars in a garage at the back of the factory that I ended up looking at.

These were used for private driving, and there was a garage with a couple of vans, but this one had collapsed, so it was impossible to take a closer look.

Abandoned Beetle at factory in Germany
Old cars at abandoned chocolate factory

The factory was not the most beautiful place to photograph due to the very limited amount of light.

But it was a truly fascinating look into the past in a place that for so many years has been a big part of the history of the local community.

You can see a short video from my visit

If you would rather see a place with all the possibilities for beautiful pictures, it was at the abandoned castle

Non Plus Ultra in Italy. It's one of those places I never thought I would see with my own eyes but was lucky to find the door open when I was on those edges.